IBM topped the list of US patent recipients in 2014 for the 22nd consecutive year with 7,534 patents, marking the first time a company has surpassed the 7,000 mark.
That’s a whole lot of inventing going on — to the tune of 20-plus patents per day. And all that tinkering should be good news to investors: The Armonk-based company (which has a branch in Poughkeepsie; its East Fishkill location was sold to GlobalFoundries last year) came under fire during the latter half of 2014 for reporting disappointing earnings, a result of what many consider to be a stale business model based on software systems and hardware. According to IBM, 40 percent of the patents filed in 2014 were related to the company’s growth initiatives — cloud computing and data and analytics among them.
In a statement posted to IBM’s website, president, chairman, and CEO Ginni Rometty had this to say: “IBM’s continued investment in research and development is key to driving the transformation of our company, as we look to capture the emerging opportunities represented by cloud, big data and analytics, security, social, and mobile. IBM’s patent leadership over more than two decades demonstrates our enduring commitment to the kind of fundamental [research and development] that can solve the most daunting challenges facing our clients and the world.”
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According to Crain’s New York Business, IBM spends about six percent of its annual revenue on R&D, considerably less than comparable tech giants like Google, Cisco Systems, and Oracle, which spend roughly 13 percent. Other US companies that made the top 10 include Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Google. South Korean and Japanese technology companies — Samsung, Canon, Sony, Toshiba, Panasonic, and LG Electronics — rounded out the list. Samsung, the second-highest patent recipient, laid claim to 4,952 patents in 2014.